i consider the diploma that i received today my closure to the past 4 years of my life. according to the school, it was only for going through their photography program. for me, i feel like it was a really appropriate way to conclude everything that i've been doing since walking away from westborough high 4 years ago this month.
it took me a long time to get past the fact that i would not have 4 consecutive years at one school like the rest of my friends did. i felt rather inadequate for a while and it was difficult to work through that. i spent a lot of my time being babysat in treatment centers and hospital rooms while my friends were out doing what we'reexpectedto do. it was hard to think that i wasn't any less of an 18-21 year old during that time, which i realize sounds beyond ridiculous.
now, i would say my experiences were something i can be pretty happy about going through. my time at dean was undeniably life-changing. the progression of my disease certainly would have gone differently had it not been for being there and i think it happened just as it needed to. while i was struggling to keep myself together in california, i can't seem to remember anything negative about that trip. i was rewarded with the feeling of being accepted into a great program at a 4-year institution, even if i ended up turning it down. and CDIA.BU... well, there really couldn't have been a more perfect time for that to come along. as for everything else that has become more than common knowledge, i am far from ashamed that i have spent so much of the last 3 years fighting my demons. in fact, i have never been more proud of myself in almost 22 years that i have gotten to this point exactly how i did. i wouldn't take a second of it back for anything, because i'm finally being rewarded with the life that i neverusedto think i deserved.
the fun facts my mom loves pointing out is that, out of high school, i wanted 3 thingssobadly that i strongly believed i would never have: to attend BU, to live in the boston area, and to graduate college with the same class i graduated high school with. i got it all in my own way, just as i've always done things. it feels pretty damn good.
so, here's to the end of another chapter and to the beginning of a new one. i am so proud of all of the people that i have watched grow in the past 4 years in all of their own ways and i am proud to see the amazing things that many of the people i love are headed for. thank you to everyone who had my back through the worstandbest of it (and some of you don't know who you are, but i'll be sure to let you know). there are really no words for what it means to have you in my life.
congratulations to the class of 2oo8. no matter your age, no matter your definition of "graduation", no matter how you got there. no excuses, no regrets.